Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Written by: Rebecca Blunt
Produced by: Gregory Jacobs, Mark Johnson, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin
Starring: Farrah Mackenzie, Channing Tatum, Jim O’Heir, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Boden Johnston, Sutton Johnston, David Denman, Charles Halford, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Mark McCullough, Daniel Craig and Jack Quaid.
Logan Lucky is about the not-so-lucky Logan Brothers who put together a heist to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race – one brother, Clyde Logan (Adam Driver), with one arm, I mean, one hand missing after being blown off on the way to the airport in Iraq, about to come home after fighting in the war. And the other brother, Jimmy (Channing Tatum) with a limp, just fired from his truck driving job because of said limp – not that the limp would’ve affected his driving.
The Logan brothers enlist the help of demolition expert, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) (ha, ha, Joe Bang), currently incarcerated; sister and hairdresser, Mellie (Riley Keough) and Joe Bang’s younger brothers, Fish (Jack Quaid) and Sam (Brian Gleeson). Add these characters together and you’ve got a motley crew of robbers attempting a complicated job: the release of a prisoner, accessing the cash at the raceway, extracting and removing the cash from the site and the re-insertion of an escaped convict.
After the introduction of these slow talking, seemingly thick-headed hillbillies, the film just kinda fumbled its way through the motion of the heist while expressing all those white trash clichés like child beauty pageants, John Deer trucker caps, long painted nails, big hair, NASCAR and energy drinks. Well, the energy drinks were a bit different, as was the poodle-haired, race-car owner, Max Chilblain (Seth MacFarland) who owned the stuff and was forever trying to promote the drink by forcing it down his driver’s throat.
So, you can see there’s a parody here, of the backward North Carolina culture – but there’s also a paradox with smarts here too, like a tasteful martini made with one hand; a bomb made from bleach and gummy bears on the other…
I admit the dry humour eventually got me tickled and once tickled it was easier to laugh. But the humour didn’t always hit the mark.
There were some sweet moments, particularly between Jimmy Logan and his daughter Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie) – passing the flat-head screwdriver or the wrench or singing a heart-felt country and western song. And there was a coming around and twist here and there with the story but I was too far gone on the hillbilly nature of the characters.
I got bored with the clichéd and any twists in the story felt cheap, like an Ocean’s Eleven (2001) (of which Soderbergh also directed) re-make, but starring hillbillies… without action…
So, it was a weird mix of: intelligent plan with backward characters.
The film outsmarted itself by building the hillbilly nature of the characters at the loss of story, so Logan Lucky ended up being kinda funny and kinda smart.
I wanted to like the film more, but didn’t quite get there.
PS. What was the deal with the Hillary Swank FBI character, Sarah Grayson? Brought so late into the film the character felt tacked on, a little like this PS.
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